“Many Spiritual Groups Around the World Do Not Eat Meat of Any Kind”
And in fact, in the garden of Eden Adam and Eve were vegetarians… for they were not allowed to take life. And for sure, there was no reason to kill any animal because all their needs were met and the food was plentiful.
Buddhists – Buddha did not believe in harming any sentient being be it a worm or an animal. They believe that suffering comes back to a person sooner or later via karma. In China, Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam most Buddhists are vegetarians. Zen Master Thich Thanh Tu said,”Being a vegetarian makes it easier for us to increase our loving kindness and compassion”. Buddha said, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion” from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
Hindus – Hinduism also believes that all life is sacred and should be preserved. “One should be considered dear, even by the animal kingdom”, this is found in the Atharava Veda. And “By not killing any living being, one becomes fit for salvation” this is found in the Manusmriti text. And in the Manu-samhita text, it says, “He who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness in this life or the next”.
Jains – People who follow the Jains spiritual tradition do not eat meat and neither do Jains monks. Lord Mahavira said, All beings are fond of themselves, they like pleasure, they hate pain, they shun destruction, they like life and want to live long. To all, life is dear; hence their life should be protected. if you kill someone, it is yourself you kill. If you overpower someone, it is yourself you overpower. If you torment someone, it is yourself you torment. If you harm someone, it is yourself you harm. Thus they only eat a plant-based diet.
Christian Monks – Even the Christian monks like those on Mount Athos in Greece do not partake of any animal flesh and they are extremely healthy. In fact, I have a friend who has gone to Mount Athos and stayed with the monks and they adhere to a plant-based diet. In fact, 60 minutes did a wonderful TV program talking about the monks and the fact that they have very little cancer and heart disease… and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease does not exist at all. In fact of 1500 monks studied between 1994 and 2007 none of them come down with bowel or lung cancer. Plus they only eat two meals a day… one in the morning and one in the evening and there is no meat of any kind.
In the Bible – Peter was a known vegan for he said, “I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables.” James the brother of Jesus only ate seeds and plants, and never touched wine or any kind of animal flesh. It is written, “James, the brother of the Lord was holy from his mother’s womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh” this passage is from The Church History of Eusebius. Matthew was reported to say, “And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the Apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh” this is written in the Clement of Alexandria.
Jesus – Jesus came from the Essene’s who followed a strict vegetarian diet. The followers of Jesus were Nazoreans or Ebionites and were kosher but also strict vegetarians. It is said in the book of Homilies, “God does not want animals killed at all (3.45)”. And they were plant-based and did not eat eggs, milk, or any animal products of any kind. In fact, Jesus said, “I am come to do away with sacrifices” and he also said, “I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.” And it is also thought that when Jesus threw out the money lenders at the temple, he was also throwing out all the people selling the sacrificial animals at the temple and even set the pigeons free.
In the Hebrew Texts – It is said, “Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being; whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck”. Even Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
When I started my plant-based diet many years ago a great peace came over me and has stayed with me every since. Thus what I have found is that what we eat does matter when it comes to finding inner peace.
Many Blessings to Everyone!
Dr. Paul Haider
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